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UAE Expert Group for AML/CFT deepens engagement with international partners over the past six months

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Expert Group for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) concluded a series of technical level meetings with key international partners, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, Iceland, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands between October and November 2021.

The UAE’s delegation(s) included representatives from the Executive Office for AML/CFT, Central Bank of the UAE, Financial Intelligence Unit of the UAE, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Police, Public Prosecution and the Executive Office for Goods and Materials Subject to Import and Export Control (UAEIEC).

The Expert Group’s recent meetings built on a range of bilateral and multilateral discussions with partners including Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong (SAR, China), India, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom in recent months.

During the meetings, the UAE shared updates on the progress and advancements to its AML/CFT framework, including legal and technical reforms to enhance the country’s efforts on this front. The UAE also engaged in discussion with counterparts on the bilateral cooperation between agencies and ministries, and engaged in open discussions on ways to enhance the relationship between UAE entities and their foreign counterparts. Countries also exchanged best practices and key advice with the UAE’s Expert Group.

Technical conversations were held on the wide range of progress being made on several key issues, such as the importance of equipping the public and private sectors with the tools needed to strengthen AML/CFT defences. The UAE’s work in this area is being led by the Public-Private Partnership Committee, bringing together 17 government agencies and 22 from the private sector in a dynamic coalition that helps sharpen a collective focus on improving the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, including intelligence sharing and analysis. Special attention was also given to the targeted outreach conducted with Financial Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), particularly sectors identified as being susceptible to money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and enforcement actions taken to address non-compliance.

In line with the UAE’s collaborative approach, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has now signed more than 65 Memoranda of Understanding with domestic and international counterparts and is actively engaged in constructive discussions to progress sensitive and complex investigations and prosecutions in the UAE and abroad.

Amna Fikri, Director of the Economic and Trade Affairs Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said: “International cooperation in the spirit of global partnership is a cornerstone of safeguarding the integrity of the world’s financial system. It is a privilege to exchange ideas and best practices and explain the progress being made by the UAE in advancing supervisory structures across the economy and enforcing financial crime compliance frameworks. This outreach underpins the UAE’s commitment to accelerating our collective abilities to detect, investigate, and understand money laundering and terrorist financing around the world.”

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation